A number of years ago while at East and West Scotland Summer School I was introduced to the song ‘Holy Spirit Rain Down’ by Marjory Watson. The impact the song had on myself and the whole school throughout that week has remained one of most powerful spiritual experiences I have shared.
During recent months and particularly throughout lockdown ‘Holy Spirit Rain Down’ has inhabited my soul and I believe that the Holy Spirit has been prompting me to do something with it. I am indebted to my good friend Stuart Watson for agreeing to arrange the song for Marjory and Bellshill Salvation Army Band. We are delighted with Stuart’s arrangement and wish to thank him sincerely.
Holy Spirit, Rain Down is a meditation in music based around the worship song by Russell Fragar. The prayer request, asking God to send showers of blessing, is familiar and easily draws in songs from a different era: ‘Lord, I hear of showers of blessing’, and ‘There shall be showers of blessing’ (SASB 302 and 314 respectively). Together, these three songs provide the melodic material on which this meditation is based. In addition, the harmonies of the original (the use of the chord on the flattened seventh) may also be taken to suggest something of the arranger’s Scottish musical heritage, so at the climax of the arrangement there is a reference to Hamish MacCunn’s Romantic overture, “Land of the Mountain and the Flood”. In this way, this prayer in musical form extends beyond the self, “Even me, Let some showers fall on me”, to a prayer for the nation: Holy Spirit rain down, here in this place.
We hope you enjoy our first venture into virtual banding, and are blessed by our message this Pentecost Sunday.